Surabaya, provincial capital of East Java and Indonesia's second-largest city, served for over half a millennium as trading port for the inland empires of Java. Situated at the mounth of the Brantas River, the city was officially founded in 1293 when Raden Widjaja established majapahit, Indonesia's most glorious empire on the site of a legendary battle between a shark (Sura) and Crocodile (Baya). Surabaya, known as the "City of Heroes" because of its role in the nation's independence struggle, has grown into an elegant city of large, colonnaded buildings bordering broad, tree shaded avenues. It serves as the commercial center of a thriving industrial and agricultural hinterland. The city's historical sites include Kali Mas harbour with its tall-masted trading schooners and, nearby, the narrow alleyways and shops of the Arab quarter, redolent of the Middle East. The historic Hotel Majapahit, where Indonesia's war of Independence was begun, and the elegant Grahadi State Buildings, an 18th century mansion, have been restored as monuments to an era of colonial grace. Surabaya is also home to one of Southeast Asia's oldest and largest zoos. For travellers in East Java, Surabaya serves as a convinient base for exploring the region's many charms, including Mt. Bromo, the cool mountain retreats of Tretes and Malang and the natural wonders of several nature reserves.
Place of interest in SURABAYA :
- JEMBATAN MERAH (The Red Bridge)
One of the most savage battles in Java's history was fought around here. The "Battle of Surabaya" began on 10 November 1945, less than three months after the proclamation of independence had been read in Jakarta and it was right here that Brigadier General Mallaby was killed. Further down from the Red Bridge is China Town, an area packed with buildings of typical Chinese construction. It is still a crowded business & trade center.
- MPU TANTULAR MUSEUM
The museum was founded by Von Vaber in 1933, a Dutchman who is the founder of the Museum in East Java. In 1934 the museum was opened by Von Vaber and the contents show only a personal collection of Von Vaber. People call this museum with the name of Von Vaber Museum. The location was on Jl Simpang Surabaya 3, which is now TRIMURTI High School complex.
In 1977 Von Vaber Museum was renamed the MPU Tantular Museum. The location was also moved to Park Mayangkara 6 Surabaya. An ethnographic museum opposite the entrance to the zoo, housing relics from the prehistorical period, stone relics from the Majapahit period, Chinese, Annamese and Majapahit ceramics, wayang figures of old Surabaya and early batik-making equipment.
With increasing collections, while the place is limited, MPU Tantular Museum moved to the village Sidokerto, Buduran district, Sidoarjo. Open daily from 08.00 am - 02.00 pm except on Mondays.
- MUSEUM PERJUANGAN 45
This museum located at Jalan Mayjen. Sungkono displays the development and progress of the Indonesian armed forces and its role in the struggle for the nation's independence. A collection of cyclorama and auditorium. Open daily from 08.00 am - 02.00 pm.
- MAJAPAHIT MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL
Majapahit Madarin Oriental Hotel is another (recently renovated) old building that evokes nostalgic memories for Indonesia. Here on the hotel's flagpole, the Indonesian flag was raised for the first time by Surabaya's youth, this incident ignite the widely known "batle of Surabaya".
- SURO AND BOYO MONUMENT
This monument is located opposite the entrance to the zoo. It is designed as the symbol of Surabaya City.
- SURABAYA ZOO
The zoo, located at Jalan Setail 1, is said to be the largest zoo in South East Asia. The zoo exhibits a good selection of different kinds of animals, such as monkeys, deers, zebras, lions, elephants, camels and the famous komodo, the world's largest lizard for which the island of Komodo in the lesser Sunda chain is famous. The Nocurama section houses a collection of bats, flying squirrels and various other night animals. Open daily from 09.00 am - 05.00 pm.
- SUBMARINE MONUMENT
This is the real submarine of KRI Pasopati 410, one of Indonesian's Navy Armada. It is a Russian submarine SS Whiskey Class. It was made in 1952. KRI Pasopati 410 was involved in the Arafura Sea battle to free West Irian from Dutch occupation. It has now become a monument to commemorate the bravery of Indonesia's heroes.
Submarine Monument or so called Monkasel was built in 1995 at Jalan Pemuda - Surabaya, with contents of wich are still relatively complete as terpedo room, lounge officer, combat information center, lounge room of NCO/enlisted, aircraft auxiliary, diesel engine, electric motor and driver the ship. Other facilities in Submarine Monument include Puspita Swarga Park, Tirta Wisata, entertainment stage, submarine videorama, restaurants, and souvenir shops. Open daily at 08.00am - 20.00pm.